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What COSATU has demanded from government’s relief package

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COSATU has issued its demands for the proposed government relief package, which is to be introduced to deal with the socio-economic fallout of the violent civil unrest in KZN and Gauteng. 

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), on Monday, 19 July 2021, made specific demands from the proposed government relief package deal, following the socio-economic fallout from the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Gauteng riots. Of these demands, COSATU has asked that the government provide food parcels for affected communities. The federation also called for the reinstatement of the COVID-19 grant for all of the unemployed. Furthermore, COSATU asked for insurance relief from insurance companies and the South African Special Risks Insurance Association (SASRIA), for destroyed businesses and property. The federation is calling on government to also provide relief for small businesses without insurance.

COSATU demanded that the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s (UIF) COVID-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) for workers from provinces affected by the unrest, namely KZN and Gauteng, who will now suffer a loss of wages and jobs after the riots, be reinstated. The federation further asked for the withdrawal relief for workers who have lost wages and are struggling, as well as tax and municipal rates relief for affected businesses. It has also requested a revamped Loan Guarantee Scheme (LGS) to assist affected companies in rebuilding with low to zero interest payments.

Additionally, COSATU also requested a tripling of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme’s (PESP) budget from R11 billion to R33 billion, so that at least one million job opportunities can be created for the unemployed. The federation also stated that it is requesting bank loans and insurance policy payment holidays for the affected workers and businesses, including taxi operators. One of the most important requests made to the government was COSATU calling for a massive ramping up of the vaccine rollout programme, so that periodical lockdowns of the economy can ease. As it concluded, COSATU asked for these demands to be finalised as a matter of urgency for affected persons.

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Mahlohonolo Lakaje
[email protected]


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